Moscone Documentary Panel Discusses Pacific Alum’s Legacy
Editor’s Notes: A previous version of this story named Stephen Talbot as the leading producer of the Moscone documentary. In fact, Stephen Talbot is the writer of the film; Dr. Teresa Bergman is the producer. In addition, the print version of this story lists Natalia Gevara as the photographer of the above photo. In fact, Chris Cannon is the photographer. We apologize for the errors.
The alumni of Pacific have gone on to pursue a variety of different careers, finding their place from the STEM field to political office. In particular, Pacific honors alumni George Moscone — the 37th mayor of San Francisco from January 1976 until his assassination in November 1978
Moscone was raised in San Francisco’s Marina district, where in high school, he was an all-city basketball star. His athletic abilities would earn him a scholarship to Pacific in 1950, where he majored in sociology.
Moscone would go on to be extremely active on campus, as he was elected president of the Rho Lambda Phi fraternity and was also a member of the student senate. These leadership experiences would set the precedence for his career as the mayor of San Francisco.
After leaving Pacific, Moscone would go on to pursue law at UC Hastings. Soon after, Moscone delved into the world of politics, claiming that he liked competition, and that “this is very important to my character.”
Moscone’s legacy as mayor of San Francisco was that of progress and tolerance, being a proponent for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children, and people of color. Moscone helped give underrepresented people a voice in politics, including Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California. Though Moscone and Milk were assassinated, their progressive politics set the foundation for the culture of tolerance prevalent in San Francisco today.
Pacific remembers Moscone’s impact, as they are partnering with the Moscone Center for Public Service to complete a documentary that will tell the story of Moscone’s life.
The documentary was written by award-winning documentary filmmaker and former actor Stephen Talbot. Pacific’s Teresa Bergman from the Department of Communication is the producer, and Nat Katzman is the director. In addition, many Pacific students majoring in media arts are collaborating with Talbot to make the documentary.
One of the students, Music history major Mia Watts ‘18, describes what it was like working on the documentary.
“(We) wanted to make a documentary that focused on his upbringing and school career that helped to influence his policy decisions as a lens to show what kind of man George Moscone was,” Watts said. “It was really interesting to see all of the policies that he either introduced or fought for. He was a progressive politician and stood for a wide range of subjects like racial equality, child nutrition in schools, marijuana regulations, and even mattress fabric restrictions.”
On February 6th, Talbot and Moscone’s son, Jonathan Moscone, gave a guest lecture here at Pacific regarding their work, the documentary, and the legacy of George Moscone.
Jonathan Moscone is an American theater director who currently serves as the Chief of Civic Engagement for Yerba Buena Center for the arts in San Francisco. Moscone received the Zelda Fichandler Award, given by the stage directors and Choreographers Foundation for his work in 2009.
“The documentary’s goal is to get people interested in community service and turning their voice into action changing policies,” Moscone said at the event.
The film is set to premiere November 2018, on the 40th anniversary of Moscone’s death. More than 80 interviews have been conducted of people who remember Moscone’s legacy, including Jonathan, who hopes people can learn from his father’s work. He believes that culture of tolerance will lead to changes in policy, just as it did during his father’s time as mayor.
“Culture precedes any change. Let’s hope that this cultural movement will lead to that, and I believe it will,” Moscone said. “But policy that doesn’t have culture and people moving behind it, won’t stick.”
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